san franciscoFor someone like me.

Five marathons, dozens of half marathons and other races.

I am 5 weeks in on a race plan.

And am invited to come to San Francisco to run the 2nd Half Marathon with friends.  Penny, my Glee girl…and Beth and Brianna.  ADORABLE and lovely company…

I get this bib.  With Chet & Princess.

And have a 12 mile long run on the schedule.

Race Morning Penny & I head to Starbucks and hear SADE Smooth Operator, which is the theme song for the whole day.  Couldn’t get that thing out of my head.

Now, remember, I’m a 12:30 min runner.  Ever since the boot & cast, that’s as fast as I can go.

But today.  Today is a different day.

Mile 1-4

You know how it is when you start a race.  Everyone is excited.  You get going with the crowd.  It takes me almost to mile 3 to realize that I’m going much faster than I had wanted.  It was then I also noticed that this was a rolling course.  I am destined to find rolling hills no matter where I go.  In any event, I knew past mile 4 I’d be pretty downhill.

1 11:09.1 1.00 11:09
2 11:57.3 1.00 11:57
3 12:17.7 1.00 12:18
4 12:27.9 1.00 12:28

Mile 5-7

Somewhere around here is Haight Ashbury, my favorite part of the course.  I look at my watch at Mile 5, and I’m at one hour, and I cannot believe it.  Because I haven’t done that for a very long time.  Since San Luis Obispo in last Spring’s marathon.  I keep thinking.  Is this me?  I’m not looking at a SF course map while I write this.  I just remember that I liked this.  A lot.  And, those are ELEVENS.  11 minute miles.

5 11:41.2 1.00 11:41
6 11:47.8 1.00 11:48
7 11:06.6 1.00 11:07

Mile 8

I’m usually obsessed at this part of the race.  Where am I?  How much further do I have to go?  Where am I?  Mile 8 is straight downhill.  It feels like it’s downhill the whole way.  I unbend my arms, and do what my old coach told me to do.  Arms by my side.  Let my body fly.  Passing everyone.  Feeling like one of the fast girls.  Have I mentioned that I run a 12:30 minute mile?

8 10:54.4 1.00 10:54

Mile 9-12

Again looking at my watch.  Figuring that I will be at mile 12 at my original PR, pre-injury.  I’m in shock.  I’m starting to get a little tired and can see the time going longer and longer.  But.  Here’s the other thing.  I’m usually walk/running at this point.  And I didn’t.  I didn’t walk, not once.

9 12:24.6 1.00 12:25
10 13:13.3 1.00 13:13
11 13:01.9 1.00 13:02
12 13:43.0 1.00 13:43

Mile 13

Have I mentioned here that we are running by AT&T park?  I try to go a little faster, but I can barely move my feet.  McCovey Cove, the Coke bottle.  Ugg.  I’m just trying to get past the thing.  No, you really don’t understand if you’re a Dodgers fan.  This is brutal.  And my feet hurt.  And then I go past 13, then 13.1 …and then it’s 13.25 and I’m like, man …this is a long section.

13 14:10.2 1.00 14:10

14 3:18.0 0.25 13:16

Summary 2:43:12.9 13.25 12:19

I’m a slow runner.  I’ve accepted this.

Today though. I couldn’t stop thinking about this race.  LOVED the course.  LOVED the people. LOVED how I felt.

I haven’t run since Sunday.  First the DOMS on the quads, then the shins (I knew those downhills would kill me), and then the joy of relaxing and eating ice cream with the luxury of no weight gain.  That ends soon.  Maybe this weekend.  Because I’m still in a race plan for Salinas.

But for now.  I fly.  Like all the fast girls.

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